The objective of this study was to evaluate the chemical composition and the fatty acid profile of the longissimus dorsi muscle and the backfat thickness of Red Norte and Nellore young bulls finished in feedlot. Fourty-four animals (22 Red Norte with initial average weight of 367±30 kg and 22 Nellore at initial average weight of 361±30 kg) were used. The animals were fed ad libitum during 112 days, slaughtered at 519 and 482 kg, respectively. Samples of the longissimus dorsi muscle and backfat thickness were collected 24 hours after slaughter between the 12th and 13th ribs for analysis of the chemical composition and the fatty acids profile. Fatty acid analyses were performed by gas chromatography with a 100-m capillary column. There was no difference for the chemical composition of the meat between the genetic groups. Red Norte animals showed higher contents of pentadecanoic, palmitic, palmitoleic, linoleic and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) fatty acids, while Nellore animals had the highest content of oleic acid. The muscle longissimus dorsi showed greater concentrations of lauric, heptadecenoic, stearic, linoleic, α-linoleic and arachidonic acids. Comparing the fatty acid deposited in the longissimus dorsi muscle with backfat thickness, the latter showed higher contents of miristic, miristoleic, pentadecanoic, palmitic, palmitoleic, oleic and CLA acids. Red Norte animals showed higher contents of saturated fatty acid than Nellore. In bovine, the profile of fatty acids deposited in the muscle is different than the that in the backfat thickness. The fatty acids profile of the meat from young bulls differs between genetic groups.
cattle; CLA; human health; lipids